Wildfires starting despite burn ban

Posted at 4:55 PM, Aug 01, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:19:55-04

Even though rain is in the forecast, burn bans are in effect in several communities.

Despite Bell County being under a burn ban, most local fire departments were kept busy last week and over the weekend fighting wildfires that were putting homes in danger.

"Well, we've been very fortunate here in Bell County... and these fires have been discovered very quickly, reported very quickly and the fire agencies have been able to get out there and muster enough help to get out and put these fires out very quickly," Temple Fire Chief Mitch Randles said.  

Last week, multiple fire departments, including Temple, responded to a large, likely-intentional brush fire in Morgan's Point Resort. Then, they had two of their own over the weekend...which is exactly what Gail Lively witnessed first hand... 

"The idea of losing my home is really scary, and as fast as that fire grew,  I know that it could have spread quickly," Gail Lively said  

Gail Lively has lived on Pea Ridge Road for 23 years, and had the wind changed direction on Sunday night, her home could have been burned just like the pasture across the street. 

"If it had come across the road then all we could've done was try to use our water hose. And I don't think that would've been very successful," Lively added. 

The wildfire set across the street from the Lively home was started by the illegal use of fireworks.

"Think about what could happen. The possibilities that you could burn your own property. You could destroy your own life like that... take everything away. Even if it's, you think you're just gonna burn off a little patch of trash or weeds or whatever, it can get away from you before you even realize it," Lively said.

Cities are always under burn bans, and now that the county is too, no burning of any sort is allowed.

"Every time we have to respond to a call, it does put first responders at risk, and so, it's just really not worth the hazard to go out and try and burn something right now," Chief Randles added. 

Chief Randles added Temple Fire and Rescue would rather get phone calls asking questions than reports that your house or yard is on fire. 

Temple Fire investigators are searching for a black Mustang they believe to be connected to the wildfires.

In addition to Bell County, Coryell, Lampasas, Limestone, Mills, Robertson and Williamson counties are also under a burn ban.

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